YARDLEY-MAKEFIELD >> Waving flags and cheering, thousands jammed Main Street in Yardley Borough on Memorial Day to celebrate their freedom and to pay tribute to the men and women who died fighting to preserve it.
Applause erupted from every corner of the street as veterans from Knowles-Doyle American Legion Post 317 and Yardley-Makefield Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6393 led the patriotic march through town bearing the American flag, the POW and MIA flag and their respective post colors.
Veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam joined the march either on foot or in a series of cars escorting them down the parade route. Among them was veteran Ed Torres, who served as Memorial Day bugler for many years. He waved to the crowds from inside one of the passing vehicles.
The parade continued with Brad Varney and his antique flatbed truck decorated in red, white and blue; military vehicles; and the VFW Post 6393 and American Legion Post 317 Auxiliaries and their respective poppy queens, their cars and floats festooned in red, white and blue bunting, red poppies and American flags.
Also joining the march and firing their muskets along the route were re-enactors representing the Revolutionary War era and the 14th Continental Regiment.
They were followed by the American Legion Post 317 baseball team and the Civil Air Patrol Twin Pine Squadron based out of the Trenton-Mercer Airport.
The award-winning Pennsbury High School Marching Band brought patriotic tunes to the parade route as they twirled flags and played their instruments.
Yardley Borough Mayor Chris Harding proudly carried the "Carry the Load" flag down Main Street in recognition of the nation’s heroes, including members of the emergency services (fire, police and emergency medical technicians) and the U.S. Armed Forces who put their lives on the line every day for others.
A number of prominent local politicians also joined the march, including State Senator Steve Santarsiero, State Rep. Perry Warren, Bucks County Prothonotary Judi Reiss, Lower Makefield Supervisors John Lewis, Fred Weiss, Dan Grenier and Suzanne Blundi and Yardley Borough Councilman David Bria.
Also joining the parade and showing their orange and black pride were Pennsbury School Board leaders TR Kannan, Debra Wachspress and Joshua Waldorf.
The parade also featured the Nicole School of Irish Dance, which kicked up its heels as it made its way down Main Street; Funventures and its decorated bikes; and the Pennsbury High School Junior ROTC.
Cambria Stables and the Bucks County Ruff Riders 4-H Club trotted by; organizers of the “Yes You Can 5K” Race set for October 6 at Pennsbury High School joined the march; and so did a number of antique and sports cars; the Yardley Ice House; and local Scouting organizations.
With bells ringing and wheels turning, the parade also featured a decorated bike parade, a long time Memorial Day tradition organized by the Yardley Borough Recreation Board.
And bringing the parade to a fitting conclusion were local first responders, led by the members of the Yardley-Makefield Fire Company marching in their dress uniform.
The firefighters were followed by a parade of antique and rescue vehicles, including the company's restored Studebaker engine and Fire Chief’s car, Engine 0, Ladder 0, Ladder 80, Engine 80, Fire Police Utility 80 and its Marine Rescue Unit.
The Tullytown Fire Company also joined this year's parade.
The parade was organized by VFW Post 6393 and American Legion Post 317 and capped off a day of solemn ceremonies at the community’s cemeteries and monuments honoring the fallen and remembering the sacrifices made in the name of freedom.